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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Recommendations for Seattle and Portland

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nickdunkin - Posted - 07/29/2019:  14:54:49

Hey all,

I'm going on a trip to Seattle and Portland shortly. Anyone got any top tips for banjo and/or record shopping in either of those places?



jswkingsfield - Posted - 07/29/2019:  16:37:16

Vintage record stores are getting rarer given the cost of real estate in Seattle, but this looks like a pretty good list for Seattle:

Disclaimer -- I haven't been to any of these places in a loooooong time.  

Fine quality banjos are in short supply in the PNW.  In Portland, Brooks Masten has his shop there.  Artichoke Music in Portland is the best acoustic store there: 

For Seattle, Dusty Strings is the best acoustic music store, and some gems do pop up there from time to time:

Happy travels!

Edited by - jswkingsfield on 07/29/2019 16:37:59

Coolidge - Posted - 07/29/2019:  16:58:45

There's a guy south of Seattle in Brinnon, WA who claims to have 30+ banjos for sale. He advertises on our local craigslist regularly. Decent Banjo's in the Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, Salem corridor tend to wind up in the used section of Guitar Center stores. Lower end on craigslist. There are a LOT of pawn shops in the Portland/Vancouver area if you want to take the tour. Briz Loan and Guitar just across the I-5 bridge in Vancouver, WA is a pawn shop that only deals in musical instruments.

Gallaher - Posted - 07/29/2019:  22:47:43

In Seattle, Dusty Strings always has a few nice banjos.
For sure it’s worth a look.
I can’t think of any decent acoustic shops in Portland anymore.
The guy in Brinnon always has adds in Craigslist.

nickdunkin - Posted - 07/30/2019:  10:26:20

Thanks everyone! I appreciate the tips.


Coolidge - Posted - 07/30/2019:  15:31:28


Originally posted by nickdunkin

Thanks everyone! I appreciate the tips.


Never mind banjo's you will be here during peak Huckleberry season. Either head east to the patch near Mt. Adam's or stop at the country store in Trout Lake, WA and purchase a pound bag. Huckleberries are LEGEND!!

Gallaher - Posted - 07/30/2019:  18:34:13

Yes, you can play your banjo when you get home. However, when in Portland you get to go see Multnomah Falls, Seattle is one of the most scenic cities in the world. I’d go site seeing.
If you bring an umbrella, people will know you are from out of state. Of course you won’t need one this time of year.

Coolidge - Posted - 07/31/2019:  15:00:26

Then there's our traffic. Bank on 40 mile I-5 traffic jams south of Seattle. Portland traffic jams are no picnic either but only 20 miles long. Plan your travel in these areas after 8pm or before 6am. Just saying.

Texican65 - Posted - 08/01/2019:  10:06:53

"Bop Street Records" in Ballard is probably the best place for records in Seattle. They used to have a basement full of junk that nobody cared about....I spent hours digging through all that old stuff and found some real treasures. They've since moved to another location....but they still have a great selection.

"Sonic Boom Records" in north Seattle is also a very good store with a lot of great inventory. I've spent a lot of time and money there over the years too. The guy has been there for 30 or 40 years.

Median income in Seattle is $72, prepared to pay A LOT of $$$ for anything you are looking for. good luck and have fun!


Helix1 - Posted - 08/05/2019:  17:27:05

Music Millenium in Portland, they generate electricity for the stereo with a windmill.

Clawdan - Posted - 08/05/2019:  17:53:38

Hey Nick,
When you going to be "here"? I ask because I am currently in that area and the Centralia OT Campout starts this coming Saturday. LOTS of OT music and banjos there. I have 3 for sale myself and John Hatton's Cleff'd Ear is usually there with instruments and recordings. Centrailia is only about an hour & 1/2 south of Seattle. Halfway between Portland and Seattle just off I-5. Come on and have some tunes, shop and enjoy. I will also be doing a ch workshop one afternoon.

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